the poetry friday roundup is here!


 Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup!

I must say you’re even more good looking today than you were last week. How is that even possible?!

I see by the twinkle in your eye that you’re hungry for good words and good food. You’ve definitely come to the right place. Please help yourself to some freshly brewed Kona coffee and homemade mango bread. 🙂


Actually, I’m on a mango kick this week. I reviewed the breathtakingly beautiful Moon Mangoes the other day, and today I’m sharing Lesléa Newman’s mouthwatering “Mangoes” from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School, compiled by poetry goddesses Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2013).

Though I’m a tad extremely partial to Week 10 (Food) and Week 11 (More Food) in the anthology, I was thrilled when Lesléa’s poem appeared as a delicious surprise in Week 31 (Different Forms) for Seventh Grade (page 165).

“Mangoes” is a ghazal, an Arabic lyric poem that incorporates the repetition of the same ending word in each couplet. When it comes to mangoes, Lesléa is a poet after my own heart, for her chosen end word is “heaven.” What better way to describe that luscious golden fruit personifying the sun-drenched days of summer?

Peel it back, cutie pies, and let those juices drip down your chin.

“Woman with a Mango” by Paul Gauguin (1892)

by Lesléa Newman

I’ve got to know before I go,
do mangoes grow in heaven?

Without that treat that tastes so sweet
don’t want no seat in heaven.

If there ain’t none — at least a ton —
won’t be no fun in heaven.

If they substitute another fruit
I’ll give the boot to heaven.

A mango a day like the good doctor say
and I’ll make my way to heaven.

Will a mango slide through my fingers and glide
down my throat as I float up to heaven?

Now say for real, are there mangoes to steal
and peel on the way up to heaven?

If you say no, Lesléa won’t go —
no mangoes isn’t heaven!

“Mangoes” copyright © 2013 by Lesléa Newman. Reprinted by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

mango slices
via Doodle Lounge

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Please leave your links with the fun-loving Mr. Linky below. Don’t forget to include the title of your poem or the book you’re reviewing in parentheses after your name. I will add your links manually to this post throughout the day.


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– – – Today’s Poetry Friday Platter – – –

1. Steven Withrow (“First Saddle Sonnet”)

2. Cathy Ballou Mealey (Fernalicious Forest Fun)

3. Matt Forrest Esenwine @ Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme (“Book Report”)

4. Bridget Magee (Driving Mom Crazy)

5. Margaret Simon (“What If?” – Saying Goodbye to a Special Student)

6. Jeff @ NC Teacher Stuff (“The Song of the Ungirt Runners”)

7. Robyn Hood Black (Early 19th Century Limericks for Children)

8. Michelle @ Today’s Little Ditty (Losing my keys — and my marbles)

9. Iphigene @ Gathering Books (“You Are a Writer”)

10. Amy LV @ Poem Farm (New Puppies and Third Grade Poets)

11. No Water River (Poetry Comics Poe’s “Annabel Lee” Poetry Video)

12. Tara @ A Teaching Life (Monsoon Season and Mary Oliver)

13. Colette Marie Bennett (“Here Bullet”)

14. Charles Ghigna/Father Goose (“Peach Dreams”)

15. Karin Fisher-Golton (“Butterfly”)

16. Samuel Kent (“Last Day of Second Grade”)

17. Tabatha (Yahia Lababidi)

18. Catherine @ Reading to the Core (“Love Calls Us to the Things of This World”)

19. Mary Lee (Think for Yourself)

20. Laura Purdie Salas (“You’d Better Be Scared” – with audio poem starter)

21. Heidi Mordhorst (Circular thoughts on time travel)

22. Penny Klostermann (two fiddlehead fern poems)

23. Diane Mayr (“Cultivation”)

24. Kurious Kitty (It’s International Tiara Day!)

25. Carol @ Carol’s Corner (Something Fishy)

26. Donna @ Mainely Write (Double Take)

27. Doraine Bennett (Words with Madeleine L’Engle)

28. Tamera Will Wissinger (Marion Dane Bauer essay on Resonance in Verse Novels)

29. MotherReader (Follow, Follow).

30. Liz Steinglass (A poetry retreat and a question)

31. Anastasia Suen (“Not What We Want”)

32. Little Willow (“Locations and Times” by Walt Whitman)

33. Jeannine Atkins (Tugs That Carry Writers Through)

34. Ed DeCaria (MMPoetry authlete Cheryl Lawton Malone in the Boston Globe)

35. Lorie Ann Grover (“Wedding White”)

36. Joy Acey (“Wheels on the Road”)

37. Janet Squires (Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant)

38. Dia Calhoun (“Hammock Queen”)

39. Iza Trapani (“Saving Pennies”)

40. Betsy H. (“Silent Thunder” and new poetry blog!)

41. Jone @ Check It Out (“Library Books”)

42. M. M. Socks (“Teacher”)

43. Karen Edmisten (Linda Pastan)

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Trust me, you need to make this mango bread sometime soon. It’s super moist, not overly sweet (golden raisins!), and is even better the next day.

The recipe calls for diced mango, but I put mine in the food processor because I like even distribution of fruit in my bread. Since my mangoes were medium ripe, the consistency was sort of like grated carrots. Choice of nuts is up to you — unsalted macadamias are divine and add a nice Hawaiian flavor. 🙂

mango bread macro one

Mmmm Good Mango Bread
(makes one loaf)

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 cups diced mango
1/4 cup flaked coconut (optional)

1. Grease a one pound loaf pan or a bundt pan.

2. Sift flour, soda, salt and cinnamon into large mixing bowl. Make a well and add the remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly.

3. Pour into pan and let stand for 20 minutes.

4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour.

(adapted from A TASTE OF ALOHA by the Junior League of Honolulu, 1983)

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P.S. Happy 72nd Birthday to my man Bob Dylan! He’s knock knock knockin’ on heaven’s door — probably checking for mangoes.

Have a fabulous holiday weekend, and thanks for poetry-ing with us. Hello, Summer!


Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.


52 thoughts on “the poetry friday roundup is here!

  1. I love EVERYTHING about this post, all the art – Gauguin! – all the photography and the recipe, though I am sorry to report I have never made mango loaf – they all leave eaten out of hand, I cannot get them to stick around long enough for baked goods. Oh,. well.


  2. I don’t have anything as sweet as a mango this week – just a savory fiddlehead frittata! Mmm…breakfast!


  3. I’ve read that poem so many times and enjoy it. Thanks for sharing it again…with that mango bread! Holy cow, if there’s one thing I need to bake this weekend…THAT’S IT!


  4. MMMMmango loaf: you always put so much love and goodness into your blog posts, Jama! (And I really love the way the purple dress of Gauguin’s Mango Woman matches the purple cover of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School!)


  5. I love mangoes that “slide through my fingers and glide down my throat” – that IS heaven! Thanks for hosting, sharing this poem, and reminding me to look for mangoes at the store this weekend. =)


  6. Jama,
    Couldn’t I just come to your house to try some of that mango bread? Oh, does it look heavenly! I don’t want to turn on the oven and heat up my house. It is almost 100 degrees outside in Tucson.


  7. A mouth-watering post today, Jama! I MUST make this bread soon, especially for my mango-loving son. Appreciation to you and Lesléa Newman for sharing this hearty and delicious poem from PFAMS, too!

    Thank you for hosting. A have some tasty old (really old!!) limericks today.


  8. I grew up eating mangoes – lovely, perfect, Alphonso mangoes. This poem takes me back to Bombay, and enjoying mangoes by the beach!


  9. There is so much mango goodness here! Good thing I’ve got a mango in my fruit basket…right now! The rhythm of Lesléa Newman’s poem is perfect for a poem about something called, “mango.”

    Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday. I got confused with the instruction and left out the name of my poem “Butterfly.” As I said in my post, you’ve got some butterfly-worthy colors here.


  10. My daughter-in-law loves mangoes and I can’t wait to make mango bread for her. It looks delicious! Or, as Leslea Newman would say, “like heaven.” Thank you for hosting the round up today!


  11. Swooning. I’m not even an enormous mango fan (though I love a bit of it in my fruit smoothies), but this post…yum!

    Leslea’s poem is just stunning. My favorite stanza:

    Will a mango slide through my fingers and glide
    down my throat as I float up to heaven?



  12. Thanks for hosting, Jama. And thanks for the mango bread recipe. My boys love mangoes, but they are pretty expensive in Colorado, and I get a little disgruntled when they get overripe and I have to throw them out. I’m so gonna try this recipe.

    I’m in with a review of SOMETHING FISHY, a new ocean animal poetry book, and some ideas for ways I’d use it to infuse more poetry into my classroom.


  13. Mangoes are something I have not managed to buy successfully. How do you know when they’re okay? Do they ripen like bananas? How do you store them? I’d sure like to try that mango bread!


    1. There are different varieties of mangoes. Look for ones with good color (reds, oranges, etc.) and no bruises, and when you touch them they give a little and aren’t too firm. You can ripen them at room temp in a brown paper bag. Some people use ripe mangoes and puree/mash them like bananas, while others like to dice into small pieces. As I said, I put mine in the food processor. It’s all personal preference and each way tastes good! 🙂


  14. Love the Gauguin, mango poem and big smile that this post brings. Thanks for hosting Jama. I was going to link to Penny and Cathy’s fernilicious poems. Happy Poetry Friday!


  15. Mangoes are one of the only fruits (make that foods) that I’m not wild about. But your delicious post is making me reconsider–how could I not with “a mango a day like the good doctor say and I’ll make my way to heaven.” And do real people actually cut fruit like that? Your post is a feast for ears and eyes.


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